Saturday, June 28, 2014

Blog #173: this magic moment

It's occurred to me that I am in a really special life stage. There are definitely some deficits (I can think of 2 big areas of my life where there's nowhere to go but up) and struggles but they don't feel overwhelming or insurmountable. I have this feeling right now that I'm on the uptick. I feel proud of the work I do, confident in my capacity to do it well, secure in my ability to navigate my social life, happy with my appearance (most of the time), and just feel fairly content overall. 

I'm documenting this now because it's such a nice moment and maybe tomorrow I'll have messed something up and need to remind myself that these moments exist.

In other news, this is technically a playlist but my intention is that it operates as a mix CD. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Blog #172: on doing what you want

I had the BEST date Friday night. My date knew exactly what I liked and wanted me to enjoy the night as much as possible. My date took me to a concert by one of my favorite bands, bought me some delicious beer, and introduced me to some really cool new people. It was such a wonderful date that it might even be love.

So, who was this date, you ask?

Me. Myself. I.

So I went to a concert by myself. Look, I have friends. Plenty! And I had done some lobbying throughout the week for said friends to join me in my concert attendance. However, they all had other plans or weren't interested in spending the money or any number of reasons not about me (or maybe they didn't feel like hanging out with me that night - who cares!?) Rather than take all of this personally and spend the evening sulking about how I wanted to go to the show but couldn't because I didn't have a partner... I just went to the show. I'm a grown woman who wanted to see a concert and had the means to do so, so I went. 

And it was wonderful. First of all, The Avett Brothers' fan base is a group of pretty cool individuals, so there wasn't a shortage of people to talk to about the music. I met people before the show, during, and after - all friendly and happy to share the moment with me. Second of all, my ability to enjoy something is not dependent on whether I have someone to go with or not. 

It's kind of silly, but I'm pretty proud of myself for going alone. I know that Marissa even 2-3 years ago would never have considered it. And that's too bad because she would have missed out on a really great show. The Avett Brothers simply do not do bad shows. They are top 3 in my faves for live performances and among an elite group for me in bands I've seen live more than once (and plan to see again live whenever I can). So, wouldn't it have been a shame if I had let something as small as being the only one in my social circle who felt like going get in the way of seeing a band I love sing songs I love? 

This post is not about getting you to see me as some bad ass lone wolf (I still much prefer the company of others) or elicit any kind of sympathy for "having to go alone" (I told you, I have friends! I just made a fairly last minute decision to attend a time consuming and fairly expensive event). I'm secure in my social life and my choices as of late. The point of this post is that it is totally okay to do things by yourself sometimes. And not just things like going shopping or grabbing lunch while using your smart phone as a buffer. It's okay to do big, intimidating things by yourself. It's okay to go to a concert solo, drink a shock top or 2 in the parking lot before you go in and start conversations with strangers over the shared interest that brought you all there. To plant yourself in a great GA seat and welcome the people who sit near you. To enjoy the things you enjoy because YOU enjoy them and not just because you found someone to go with. All of that is okay. Awesome even. I had a really wonderful night. Avett opened with my favorite song, and made sure all my other faves (to be fair- most of their songs are my faves in one way or another). And I just kept thinking about how much I would have missed out on if I had just given up on going when I couldn't get a gang together for it. 
So, basically the moral of this story? Do what you want. Or, as the Avett brothers put it in my favorite of their songs and their opener - "decide what to be, and go be it." Only you get to decide what you're gonna do and how you're gonna be. I decided that I was going to see a band I loved and enjoy it regardless of anyone else's plans, and that's what I did. Go do what you want to do. 

Seth Avett wants to wear his hair in pigtail braids, so he does. Let's all take a page from that book. (Please don't think I'm making fun of Seth's pigtails. I love everything about Seth Avett and would never consider mocking him.) 

Disclaimer - in saying "do what you want" I'm not advocating selfish decisions that hurt others. I'm simply making the point that a lack of an entourage should not keep you from experiences you want to have. 

Now, go and have fun and get down with your bad self! You might discover that you are pretty good company.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blog #171: a love letter

"Kansas City is cooler than you think blog post"

I wrote that note idea down in my notes section of my iphone in August of last year after watching some really great live music at Knuckleheads. Now, my life has changed in significant ways since then in the professional and romantic areas but the sentiment is still 100% true.

You guys. Kansas City is awesome and I love it here. It's something that I never fully experienced until I moved downtown but it is true.

This city has everything.

So without further ado, I present to you a list, because I know how to Internet.

Reasons Kansas City is actually way more awesome then you think:
1. Everybody says the BBQ. BUT THE BBQ.
I'm not kidding. No one is kidding. The BBQ. (I know several people who would require I say "except for Arthur Bryant's" here. Just hit OK Joes, BB's, Smokehouse, Gates, and any others a Kansas citian tells you to, ok?)

2. While not a lot of people talk about Kansas City as a premier live music spot, we have some great venues! For me, enjoying live music in KC has always been more about chilling on a patio or in a bar rather than being shoved up against the front of a stage but we've got that too. And we host great concerts at all sorts of venues... Whether that's small shows/crowds at places like Knuckleheads or Riot Room or major acts at arrowhead or the Sprint Center. And you can always grab a fairly reasonably priced beverage while you listen.

3. It's pretty.
If my Instagram hashtag #prettycity tells you anything, it's that Kansas City looks good. Hey everyone, come see how good we look.

4. It's safe.
I just saw on the news yesterday that our murder rate is down, so we have that going for us. And, as someone who lives downtown and utilizes street parking, I can vouch for how well lit and clean our streets are.
(Mark Twain guards our streets)

5. It's cheap. I mentioned the reasonably priced beverages earlier. And I meant it. You can live and experience downtown and still be able to travel and explore because it's the Midwest. I can't vouch for your ability to afford the places you travel to. That's on you, man. I don't know your life.

6. I want to talk about Kansas City sports but I don't want you to laugh at me so I'm going to start with Sporting. US champions 2013 which is wonderful and they continue to do well and be major players in US soccer making Kansas City legitimately a soccer town, Kansas City also hosts all kinds of NCAA championship games and tournaments and Sporting Park is going to be the location of the D2 national football championship this year and I really hope to be able to cheer the bearcats to another title in what would basically be a home game.
And the Chiefs had a playoff game last year that... Forget it, I can't go there. It's still too soon. Royals games are fun though! And there's the T-bones and a speedway if you're into that sort of thing. And other league sports like hockey and indoor soccer that I still need to get out and see.

7. There is so much room for activities!

For real - go on pub crawls, join a kickball league, I know a cool gal that does pickup soccer every week I still need to join. I've been on wine walks, done silly 5k's, gone to farmers markets, enjoyed the artsy First Fridays... There is seriously zero excuse to be bored here.
(In my proud and purple kickball uniform!)
(Scenes from a first Friday!)

8. We're getting things! KC has Trader Joes and Raygun and all kinds of good shopping. We've got an ikea going in which I guess is a big deal. Our local food is delightful (for ideas watch the local access show "Check Please".

So sure - you other cities are great. Really. And we can hang. But if I'm going to write a gushy love letter and buy a ring... It will be for KC.